Not far from the stream, Eleri could see the edge of the woodland. There was a clearing and she could see the bank that rose up to the reservoir too. She could also see some very, very tall pine trees. If all these trees were laid on their side they could probably stretch to her home across the lake.
She stood and tried to be quiet. She had done a lot of talking today, just like her mother had asked – she had talked to every creature she saw. She had walked the whole length of the woodland. She had even flown all the way across the reservoir to get here. All she needed to do was get the pine needle and swim home with it. Then she would finally receive her colourful feathers.
Eleri kept trying to listen but the trees were not doing anything. They were not saying anything until, suddenly, she heard a very beautiful sound from one of the pine trees ahead of her. This sound was so beautiful that it can’t even be described: it was the voice of the tree. What do you think it sounded like?
This tall, tall tree told Eleri that she had watched her fly across the lake and walk all the way here and talk to all the creatures she met. This tree knew that she needed one of its needles to take home and so, she shook and shook and shook until one from the very top popped off and floated down to the ground.
Eleri could not believe her ears or her eyes! She picked up the needle and thanked the tree who bowed the crown of her head down, ever so slightly. Eleri turned back to look at the woodland and thought about how far she’d come that day. She felt so connected to this place, to its creatures and trees. And she was not afraid anymore.
Eleri then ran up the reservoir bank in front of you and hopped into the water. She swam all the way back to her tunnel and gave the pine needle to her mother. They sat together and talked all about her adventure and the new friends she had made. And then, POOF!
Eleri’s feathers were no longer dark and dull. She was suddenly covered in blue and green and orange and white: a flying rainbow. Eleri’s brothers flew to the edge of the tunnel, in their magnificent colours, to celebrate with her too.
If you hurry, you can walk up the path to the bank and look out over the reservoir. There might even be a kingfisher, just like Eleri, getting their bright feathers today. Can you see one, on the lake? Just look for these little rainbows on the banks and in the air. Watch how they shimmer and shine.
(story by Christina Thatcher)